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Southwestern U.S. travelogue flies around in modern 1930s airplanes, stopping off at Albuquerque and an Arizona dude ranch, all the time focusing on fashions worn by its cargo of aspiring Paramount starlets. Excellent pre-World War II fashion footage in Kodachrome, plus documentation of affluent tourist destinations. Produced and directed by Harry D. Donahue. With Mary Martin.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Donahue (Harry D.)
Sponsor: Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) and others
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Fashion; Aviation: Commercial; Travelogues
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Of historical interest
I love colour footage from the 1930s/1940s, and I am glad that more exists than I once thought.
Pleasant, silly, watchable short, but could use with some restoration.
Subject: No Mention of the Barf Bags
...in this film where a gaggle of starlets take an arduously long flight to the Southwest to show off new fashions along the way. Nice color footqge shows an early airliner. Unlike some of the earlier reviewers, I think this looks like a winter time trip and so those clothes are appropriate for the weather. Pueblo girls wouldn't be standing around in heavy wool ponchos in the summer and you can bet those dainty girls wouldn't be trapsing around that rattlesnake infested desert unless the rattlesnakes were hibernating - I know I wouldn't.
Enjoyable film even if fashions aren't your thing.
dumpster diver -
Say what you want about the picture.
Arizona and Phoenix look great!
Look close..most of us Arizonans still had thier
sanity in them days
Subject: Desert No More
Most of this film was shot at Camelback Inn in Phoenix. In 1940, the resort appears to be surrounded by empty desert as far as the eye can see. Today, that resort is surrounded by suburban sprawl as far as the eye can see---empty desert is a good hour's drive away. The women's fashions are quit attractive and would look good even today. But how many men do you see at desert resorts dressed in sports jackets and ties in the middle of the day? I doubt you saw very many in 1940 either!
Subject: Notes on the Boeing STRATOLINER
The aircraft featured in this film is the Boeing 307 STRATOLINER. This was the first pressured passenger aircraft to enter into commercial service and the one in the film was one of only ten to be built. It first flew in 1938 and was in regular, transcontinental service by 1940. Only one, flyable Boeing 307 still survives. It is on display at the Smithsonian Museum's "Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center."
Una Persson -
Subject: Hitting a Personal Note
Agreeing with the earlier reviewers on most points, this film is also notable for showing many shots of what is now the Marriott Camelback Resort in Phoenix, where my lady friend and I recently had a fantastic vacation. The buildings all look the same, as does the pool and grounds, although they are a bit more lush and the area is quite built up now. I had no idea the hotel was more than 60 years old!
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Fashion Horizons
Several Hollywood starlets take a bright and breezy vacation in the southwest, while a bright and breezy narrator breezily describes their trip to us, describing every outfit each woman wears in great detail and occasionally throwing in a plug for TWA. Somebody should have shot the writer, though, because there's a fine line between breezy and stupid, and the film's narration repeatedly crosses that line, especially when dealing with native Americans ("One little, two little, three little Indian girls!" exclaims the narrator over a shot of three grown native American women), ancient historical relics ("Her adobe coat blends in with the adobe walls of this ancient structure"), or scenic wonders ("Doggone it! What adjectives are there to describe this magnificent view of the Grand Canyon?"). The visuals provide some historical value, as they provide rare color scenes of 1941, but if you're going to use this for archival footage, cut out the narration and the cheesy music soundtrack, OK?
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: "Must Be The Desert Air!"
In this highly fantasized and so of course, highly improbable fashion showcase, where everyone just seems to be packing 5000 pieces of clothes to go sightseeing, we see 4-5 starlets, most of them actually have a lot of movies to their name, go packing off to a screen test in Albuquerque. And there on the air tarmac, they're met by a indian tribe dancing, celebrating the arrival of the plane! Wait! there's more! Soon they're going for dinner, and all the females are wearing fur coats! Now let's pause for a minute, I know this film was made in 1940, and fur was all the rage, but who on earth would wear fur in Albuquerque in the middle of summer? Soon, the trip turns to Phoenix, and the models all are wearing fashions HIGHLY improbable for wearing in Phoenix's climate. Believe me. Watch it for yourself. Reccomended!